We write on this difficult day to remind you of God’s love for you and to tell you that you are not alone. Across the U.S., Dreamers like yourself have graced classrooms in Jesuit schools — from the smallest among you to those now earning advanced degrees. You came to us for an education, you came for pastoral and spiritual guidance, and we welcomed you — not because of your nationality — but because you are our brothers and sisters in Christ. No government can tear that sacred bond.
While you and the estimated 750,000 among you are called “Dreamers,” you have helped us dream too. Because of your example, Jesuits and thousands of lay educators at our schools across the U.S. have dreamed of new possibilities for young people like yourselves who have, in all too many cases, fled violence, poverty and despair.
We call upon Congress to act without delay in enacting a lasting solution, but more than ever, we commit ourselves to living out God’s law, which calls on us to love the stranger, remembering that our ancestors in faith were once strangers in a foreign land.
The United States is a great country because it is a land of opportunity, family values and compassion. Throughout our history, we have given newcomers the opportunity to work hard and be successful, to our country’s substantial benefit. We have also placed a high premium on the integrity of the family unit. The Jesuits, along with the Catholic Bishops, lay educators and thousands of others have raised their voices in support of comprehensive immigration reform, including the protection of DACA and the Dreamers, and we are not going to give up. Together we recognize and seek to honor your dignity. Today and in the challenging weeks and months to come, we will continue to strive toward a fuller realization of your rights.
Please know that you are in our prayers and that we continue to share in your dreams.
Fr. Timothy Kesicki, SJ
President, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
About the Society of Jesus in Canada and the United States
Founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) is the largest order of priests and brothers in the Roman Catholic Church. The Society's mission is to put reconciliation into practice each day — with God, with human beings and with the environment. Jesuit priests and brothers are involved in educational, pastoral and spiritual ministries around the world, practicing a faith that promotes justice. In Canada and the United States, there are 30 Jesuit colleges and 80 pre-secondary and secondary schools with a shared goal of developing competent, compassionate and committed leaders in the service of the Church and society. Jesuits minister in parishes and at retreat houses and serve as chaplains at prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and in the military. The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents all Jesuits in Canada and the U.S. For more information on the Society of Jesus, visit www.jesuits.org.